Wednesday 11 May 2022
Naples and Civitaveccia
Day 4 in my sojourn to southern sunny climes and yesterday I was in Naples. The name Naples means, New City. It is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan.
Naples is the centre for visiting places like Sorento, The isle of Capri and of course Pompei. I remember a few years back taking a private tour down the Amalfi coast to Sorento and then on to Pompei. Wonderful day and a bonus was, that the guy who was driving the car was a coach driver and had been to Scotland many times so we had something in common and it made for interesting discussions.
When in Naples, it is obligatory to eat pizza as that is one of the things Naples is famous for, and rightly so, as it is wonderful. I of course, as always, conformed to custom and stopped at a streetside restaurant to indulge, a streetside Restaurant that I have frequented in the past when visiting with a special friend on a previous cruise.
One thing Naples is also famous for is the traffic which is horrendous and traffic regulations are obviously optional. This is shown in drivers’ attitudes to pedestrian crossings. What we in the civilized world call Zebra crossings. Now, I have no idea how a Zebra would get on crossing one of these roads but as far as humans are concerned it is extremely dangerous and whereas in the UK a pedestrian has right of way, in Italy crossing a pedestrian crossing is the Italian version of hunger games and a means by which the Italian government control population. In short, a pedestrian crossing is a government-sanctioned kill zone, so beware!
After a pleasant although dangerous day in Naples, back to the ship, dinner then a short visit to the disco before bed.
Today we are in Civitavecchia another name for the ancient town, a much more serene and safer town than Naples and a pleasure to have a quiet time sitting with a cappuccino and watching the world go by.
Now you might be wondering as to the relevance of the photo above. Well, there is a story to this, and it goes back several years to one of my previous visits to Civitavecchia.
I was having a wander through the back streets as I am want to do on these trips and I came across this very place which is, or at least was at that time a garage. Now at that time, there was a rather large guy at work on a car and deeply engrossed in some problem under the bonnet. Now this fellow was of ample proportions and was obviously wearing a pair of ill-fitting trousers. This meant that as he was bending over the front of the car his trousers were somewhat revealing giving an opportunity for the photo of a lifetime.
Now it was rather difficult to discern whether what I was witnessing was a view of anatomy or a view of a contraption for parking a bicycle. Anyway, I decided to take a photo in the spirit of a bit of tongue in cheek humour.
Now the appliance I had at that time was a tablet and it was not a straightforward process to take photos with, so whilst trying to get this tablet set to take a photo. One of the two guys who were with the large mechanic looked over and realized what I was about to do and seemed to mention it to the mechanic.
Well, it would appear that the mechanic had an acute case of humour deficit syndrome, as he exploded into a tirade in some foreign language, quite possibly Italian. Now I do not speak Italian but between his tone, blood vessels on his face and the gesticulations with his hands and arms I did manage to get the impression that he was upset in some way and got the distinct impression that remaining in that vicinity could possibly result in a terminal outcome. I of course responded in the Scottish vernacular and there was quite a standoff.
I had of course pre-assessed the situation and was quite confident that I could have, if I necessary, outran the three of them quite easily, with the mechanics trousers in all probability falling down in the first few yards of the chase, however in the interest of Italia-Scotia relations and my own continuing good health I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew a short distance and around a corner to check to see how the photos had come out, only to find that they had not been taken at all.
So, today I again found the garage but unfortunately, it was closed up. Perhaps the mechanic has moved to greener pastures and is now a cult figure on some bicycle parking manufacturer website or perhaps he has retired. Whatever he is doing now I wish him well.
Now before anyone asks if I make a habit of going around the world taking photos of men’s rear ends, I can assure you this was in all innocence, and solely in the interest of a twisted sense of humour.